Please read my disclosure if you have questions.
Homesteading isn’t easy, and in all honesty, there are loads of different things that can go wrong. However, there are a couple of issues that are major barriers for just about everyone who wants to be a homesteader, no matter what size their homestead is. Most of us wouldn’t mind a bit more money, but every single one of us is limited by TIME. The importance of time management is huge for homesteaders!
Why Do Homesteaders Need To Worry About Time Management?
At it’s very basic level, time management is what allows us to get our seeds planted in spring, our fruit trees planted in the fall, and our chickens fed each and every day. Without some basic time management our crops will die and our animals would suffer.
Most of us can get by with squeezing in gardening time in the evenings and weekends, but wouldn’t it be better if we could optimize our time and get even MORE done?
The crazy thing about time is that we all get the same amount of it, and it just keeps plodding along whether we want it to or not. What if you could optimize your homestead so that it ran more efficiently without as much work from you?
Getting more results in less time is an awesome benefit. For some of us that means we can free up our time for other interests. For me that usually means adding more plants, livestock, or projects to our little city farm!
How Do You Start Managing Your Time Better?
Do you want to be more efficient so you can do more with your homestead? The best place to start is to take an honest assessment of where your time is going currently. If you like writing things down, grab some paper and a pen and start listing out your commitments. If you are more digital, pull out your phone or computer and get it all typed out or scheduled into a calendar.
Find Out Where Your Time Goes
Make sure you include things like work hours and commuting time, volunteer service, household and family responsibilities, and your current homestead projects. Once you’ve got the solid time blocks accounted for, it’s time to figure out what fills up the rest of your time. For many of us, that involves puttering around on our phones or computers.
Sometimes just being more mindful of how we’re spending out time can help us cut down on things like Facebook. Other times it may be useful to install a time tracking app on your phone. Check your play store for helpful apps. Good ones can send you a weekly summary of how many hours you spent using each app or website. It can be very illuminating!
Next, make a list of the activities you’d like to find more time to do. Once you have your wish list made, it’s time to compare your commitments, your time wasters, and your goals. Sometimes you can take a break from a reoccurring commitment to do a big project. Building a chicken coop during vacation time would be one example. (Related Post: 55 Best Chicken Coops For Practical People).
Other times, you may decide to prioritize. Perhaps spending an extra 15 minutes weeding the garden each day is more important to you than 15 minutes of checking email in the evenings. Get more details about prioritizing in the post 8 Time Management Skills You Must Have On The Homestead.
Use Tools To Help You
Use the tools that you already have! Instead of bopping around on a phone after dinner, schedule a daily alarm. That can prompt you to take a quick walk outside to the garden for that fifteen minute weeding session.
When you have a set goal, it’s easier to say no to things that don’t help you reach it. If you decide that this is the spring you’re going to build a new chicken coop, write it onto your calendar! Make an appointment with yourself to get it done.
The Importance of Time Management on the Homestead
Once you realize the importance of time management, it can sometimes seem like you find more and more ways to make more time for your top priorities. It’s also easier to assess new project and see how they fit into your goals.
One of the reasons I ultimately decided to sell my goats was because they took up a disproportionate amount of time for the yield they produced. If I had more space, they would have required less management time and I may have made a different decision. (Related Post: Are Goats Right For Me?).
If one homesteading project is taking up all of your time, try tweaking it slightly to make it run more efficiently. Perhaps that means automatic waterers for your rabbitry. Or maybe you switch up your gardening style in order to cut back on weeding!
The exact solutions don’t matter as much as realizing the importance of time on the homestead. It’s not infinite. You only get so much of it! And if you manage it well, sometimes it can seem as if you have MORE than anyone else.
When you start growing enough food that you can cut down on your grocery shopping, that’s time management! When you make a few small changes in your habits that cut down on your electricity consumption and saves you money that can free up time you would have spent working to cover that expense!
Value your time! Use it for the things that matter the most to you and help you achieve your goals!
Thinking About Getting Chickens?
Get ready with the free email course, Intro to Backyard Chickens. The course also includes a free, printable checklist to walk you through step by step!